In grade school this period is called the Renaissance, a flowering of art and intellect, that appeared in Italy for no obvious reason and then spread to the rest of Europe.
Quite why all these geniuses suddenly appear without any warning is not explained by your history teachers (who spend their life pondering deep questions like this), but Jared Diamond (Guns, Germs and Steel, Pub: Norton 1997) is happy to tell you. He says that geniuses like Michealangelo and Einstein are rather commonplace. Most of them are oppressed and are living in abject poverty, and are busy surviving if they even do that. Give them a good feed, treat them well, put them in the company of peers and pretty soon they’ll be coming up with all sorts of things you hadn’t dreamed of.
The Renaissance then was a result of the invention of double entry accounting, not (as we’ve been told) a flowering of intellect and art that happened for no reason at all.
I have been too busy to blog. One thing is that I have been setting up the Accounts for our company “Kate Tapley Horse Treks” – all new to me, but of course I begin to think about the history, philosophy and psychology of accounting – and this page stood out among a Google search. Accounting is a sort of metahorical mirror of life made out of numbers… not really as boring as bean counting.